Monday, December 13, 2010

Treating Childhood Illness in a SHTF Scenario Part 4

This is the last part in this series:

General recommendations:

·       Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  Water should be top priority in your preps.
·       Try to avoid using any medications in babies under six months old. 
·       In older babies and children, if you choose to use OTC medication, make sure that the ones on hand are single medication formulas to avoid double dosing.
·       Follow medication dosing instructions
·       Never give a child or adolescent aspirin

Preparations for people with children:

·       Take Infant and Child CPR and First Aid.  As always, the most important preparations are the ones you carry around in your head.

·       From the beginning of your baby’s life, breastfeed, if at all possible.   It is free and always available. Nursing moms should have preferred access to drinking water, this is much more important than food.  It is important for the other adults around a nursing mom to realize that, nursing a baby is a full time, strenuous, occupation.  In a SHTF scenario, mom may find her milk supply compromised due to stress.  Keep at it, stay well hydrated and nurse every time baby opens his mouth, eventually the milk will flow again.

·       If you’re a nursing mother with a well established milk supply, you may be in a position to offer feeding to a child other than your own.  It's generally only practical to nurse one other.  Women have done this for the entire history of our species.  Don’t be afraid that another baby will “steal” your own child’s milk.  Keep properly hydrated and the more the children nurse, the more milk you will have. 

.     If breast feeding is not possible, remember, in a true collapse (Katrina and Haiti come to mind), infant formula will become unavailable.  Formula made with contaminated water or formula that is made dilute to “stretch” it will make your child sick.   Therefore, formula and water to mix it with should be on the high priority list in one’s preparations.  Powdered formula is easiest to transport and store, but it may be impractical to sterilize bottles and equipment. 

·       Premade formula in single use bottles can be stored in the bug out bag for immediate use or in the event that water is unavailable.  Store enough for as many days as you have food for the adults. 

·       Comfort food is essential in the bug out bag for everyone involved, but especially children.  A bag of M&M’s or Hershey’s kisses can calm everyone’s nerves as well as supply much needed calories

·       OTC medications to include in one’s first aid kit for children: Children’s Ibuprofen, Children’s Tylenol, Chewable Dramamine (this has the same medication as Benadryl), oral rehydration solution; either commercially prepared or homemade.

 I’ve covered only a few of the more common illnesses that can happen to children.  In any child’s illness, it is important that the parent be as calm as possible, doubly so in a SHTF situation. My goal here is to foster calm and provide parents with tools to treat  a sick child, without waiting for the power to come back or the road to be plowed out..

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